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Lakota's Carlson Receives International Award

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) announced the winners of its 20 To Watch Awards, including Woodland Elementary School’s innovation specialist, Kimberly Carlson

“We are delighted to spotlight some of the most innovative educators from around the globe for their tireless commitment to transform learning for all students,” said Richard Culatta, CEO of ISTE. “Each of these educators have made a tremendous impact on the quality of learning and student engagement during a very challenging time. Congratulations to all the honorees!” 

Through this award, ISTE recognizes individuals who have demonstrated their innovative teaching style through projects that others in education can replicate in their classrooms. As an innovation specialist, Carlson provides professional development to teachers at Woodland, and across Lakota. She shares how to incorporate new approaches, technology tools and resources into their teaching to best meet the individual needs of their students. 

Carlson, who has been with Lakota since 2000 and an innovation specialist since 2018, is honored to receive this recognition. “In my twenty-two years of teaching, it has been exciting to learn ever-changing, innovative ways to provide instructional support for my fellow teachers and our students,” she said. “I am thrilled to represent Lakota Local Schools and humbled to be included in the company of talented international educators.” 

“We are thrilled to have an ISTE 20 to Watch educator at Lakota,” said Superintendent Matt Miller. “Mrs. Carlson is an exemplary teacher and a leader in our schools. Her passion for education comes shining through.”

Through her ISTE certification, Carlson has connected with educators throughout the world who share a passion for being innovative in their instructional strategies and use of technology. “(Being ISTE certified) has inspired me to think about alternative ways for students to show mastery and (it) has stretched me as an educator.”

“Kim works tirelessly to ensure our teachers have what they need to be as innovative and impactful as possible for our wolves,” said Woodland’s principal, John Wise. “Her drive to make the teaching and learning the best it can be at Woodland has a direct, positive impact on our students and their future!”

This award further underscores Kim’s impactful and collaborative work at Woodland Elementary and throughout the district. “It’s been a pleasure to watch all of our innovation specialists continue to grow individually and as a team,” said Krista Heidenreich, Lakota’s director of digital and professional learning. “Kim is in constant collaboration with her fellow innovation specialists to support district initiatives aligned with the ISTE standards to empower students and staff through personalized, modern learning approaches. We are all so happy Kim is being recognized by ISTE.” 

In 2020, Lakota was one of three school districts worldwide to receive ISTE’s Distinguished District Award. Districts throughout the world have implemented ISTE standards to meet the ever-changing educational needs of students. The standards, which are based on research and practitioner experience, are a comprehensive guide to effectively implementing the use of technology in the classrooms. 
Lakota officially adopted the ISTE standards in 2013 as part of its levy commitments to innovate and modernize instructional technology. These standards are a crucial component of the district’s WE are Empowered initiative.

“We launched our WE are EMPOWERED initiative in 2018 and it’s been so exciting to watch it grow in impact and capacity on both students and staff,” said Todd Wesley, Lakota’s chief technology officer. “A big focus of the initiative is the professional development our innovation specialists provide to our teachers, aligned with the ISTE standards. We are so proud and happy ISTE is recognizing Kim’s outstanding and innovative work!” 
 

  • Technology